Ina Garten's new cookbook, Modern Comfort Food, is an editors' pick for the Best Books of the Month in Cookbooks, Food & Wine, arriving just in time for a fall that is destined to include a lot of home cooking. There are so many delicious recipes in this book, but one of the first to catch my eye was Outrageous Garlic Bread.
What can you say about garlic bread besides, more, please? Taking comfort food we love and giving it a fresh twist is Garten's superpower in Modern Comfort Food. In this case, cooking the whole garlic cloves in butter and adding a few other key ingredients (particularly the lemon zest, for me) puts every slice I've had before to shame.
Here's how my Outrageous Garlic Bread looked before and after baking. You might notice that there are only three pieces in the finished photo—one got snatched before I even had a chance to snap a picture or cut it into slices! The incredible smell of this bread has that affect on people...
And now for the recipe—but first, a word to the wise: grab two slices before you pass it because there may not be any left when it comes back around.
Outrageous Garlic Bread
S E R V E S 8
12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled (see note)
1 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (20 to 24-inch-long) crusty French baguette
Fleur de sel or sea salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. (Make sure your oven is clean or it will smoke!)
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic, stir to coat with the butter, and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is very tender. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside until cool enough to handle. Mash the garlic in the butter with a fork. Stir in the Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Slice the baguette in half lengthwise and place both halves, cut sides up, on a cutting board. Score each half diagonally (don’t cut all the way through) in large serving-size pieces. Spoon all of the garlic mixture generously on the cut sides of the bread. Cut each half of the baguette in half crosswise along a score and place the four pieces on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the topping is bubbly and starting to brown and the bread is crisp. Transfer to a board, cut in serving pieces along the scores, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and serve warm.
Make ahead: Prepare the garlic mixture up to 3 days ahead and refrigerate. Warm it slightly in a microwave to make it just spreadable, then prepare and bake the bread just before serving.
Reprinted from Modern Comfort Food © 2020 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing/Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs by Quentin Bacon.
Think you can't improve on that delicious standard, garlic bread? Just wait until you try this recipe from Ina Garten's new cookbook, Modern Comfort Food...